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West Middle School may soon have a new crosswalk

Kristofor Husted

West Middle School students may have a safer walk to school if a new crosswalk gets approved by city council. The Columbia Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission officially recommended a crosswalk on Broadway, in between Stadium Boulevard and Clinkscales Road, to the Columbia City Council yesterday. The project was brought to the Commission by a concerned resident who lives around the school. West Middle School Principal Dr. Connie Dewey says a crosswalk would benefit students, especially in the mornings.

"We start early and students arrive around 7:10 am, and it's rather dark at that time so I think it would be helpful for those students who have to cross Broadway."

Dewey says that many students walk to school because the school is located in a predominately residential area. The crosswalk project could be combined with a larger project that would add sidewalks to Broadway, around the proposed crosswalk. Chairman of the Commission Brant Kassel says the details of the project still need to be solidified.

"There is probably still some design stuff that needs to be worked out because part of the sidewalk was in the sidewalk master plan, but the midblock crossing would be a new addition."

The sidewalk master plan was created in 2012 and outlines all of the sidewalk projects the Commission would like to see completed. Sidewalks on Broadway, around the proposed crosswalk, would cost $700,000 to construct. There isn't a price point on the crosswalk itself yet. Columbia City Council will decide how to fund the project if it is approved. 

The council will not vote on the crosswalk until mid-December. If it is approved, Kassel says construction will likely start in the New Year. Taylor Esler, KBIA News.

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